Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District debates over May 4th emergency levy

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GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – On May 4, Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools will be on its fourth attempt to get funding through a levy. However, its efforts are falling short with some local tax payers who claim it’s not a lack of funding in the district, but a spending problem.

If the 4.9 mill Emergency Levy is passed, it would be for 7 years, generating $3.22 million dollars for the district.

“When there’s not staff members to be there for that, then there’s programs going away and class sizes increasing,” said Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools Superintendent Doug Cozad.

However, ‘Vote No’ Levy leader John Stafford says the district needs to change their spending choices.

“The last six years their expenses have went up $10 million almost. It’s almost exclusively attributed to wages, benefits, pensions, pickups that are being paid to the school employees,” said Stafford.

Stafford feels the district isn’t trying to help the children, because they have enough money to do so.

“They should never have cut bussing. The money is there for bussing. They cut bussing as a punishment to the parents for voting no on the last three levies,” said Stafford.

Superintendent Cozad says that’s not the case, and that the issue still remains lack of funding.

“We don’t have a big inventory of things. We have a big part of our budget just like any school district in Ohio is personnel. That’s the biggest part of our budget, so as reductions are coming, we unfortunately have to continue looking at those and continue to make reductions,” said Cozad.

Cozad says if this levy doesn’t pass May 4, then there could be staff reductions and future program cuts in the district.

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